A group of attorneys has released the names of 50 men the Boy Scouts of America identified as credibly accused of sexual abuse in the Garden State and barred from participating in the organization.
The attorneys said they obtained the names through lawsuits against the Boy Scouts, which has kept such records since the 1940s.
“It shouldn’t be us disclosing these names. It should be the institutions. It should be the Boy Scouts,” said New Jersey attorney Greg Gianforcaro, who represents sexual abuse victims.
They also highlighted a recent Minnesota court case in which an expert hired by the Boy Scouts said the organization had identified 7,819 individuals accused of sexual abuse over decades as well as 12,254 nationwide.
“What hadn’t been known to us was the real scope of this,” said Jeff Anderson, an attorney who represents sexual abuse victims and has worked on cases involving the Boy Scouts.
In a statement, the Boy Scouts apologized to abuse victims and said it pays for counseling. The Boy Scouts also said it reports any allegations of sexual abuse to police.
Mark Crawford, who runs the New Jersey chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said he was not shocked by the number of alleged perpetrators and victims inside the Boy Scouts.
“When one in six boys [and] one in four girls are the victims of unwanted sexual contact by the age of 18, we should no longer be shocked,” Crawford said. “We should be angry and moved to action.”
Although the attorneys did not say whether they were representing any current or former Boy Scouts who were victims of sexual abuse, they called on New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy to sign the bill on his desk that would expand the civil statute of limitations on sexual abuse.
The legislation would open a two-year window for victims previously time-barred from filing lawsuits against their abusers and give future child victims until age 55 to sue.